Use Technology To Grow Your Home Business’s Productivity

by WorkFromHome on October 18, 2011

As a small business owner, it is normal to be careful with your cash. Making smart expenditures in key business areas, like information technology, also called IT, can mean ultimately growing your company’s revenues in the future. The best way to go about investing in IT for your home based company is to carefully consider some or all of the following suggestions before you start subscribing to expensive services, buying pricey peripherals for your home office or paying for expensive upgrades to your computer’s operating system.

Rev Up Your E-mail Platform

You may have been using e-mail for personal correspondence for over a decade, but as a business owner you will need to make sure that you are getting the most value out of this valuable communications tool. As you grow your home business, you will need to use your e-mail more and more to communicate with employees, vendors, current and potential customers. Some features to consider in the future include:

  • Separate e-mail addresses for customer service, information requests and direct communications from you to keep your clients, employees and leads from becoming confused.
  • A robust platform that includes online storage for all of your e-mails so you do not have to worry about trying to find one while using your BlackBerry or iPhone only to realize it had to be downloaded to your computer’s hard drive due to a lack of server space.
  • Many e-mail platforms offer automatic spell check features, but to maximize their value you will have to activate them. Taking the time to check the potential typographical errors in your e-mails before they are sent can save you from untold embarrassing e-mails!

Preserve Your Company’s Value With An Online Backup System

Are you still saving all of your company’s spreadsheets, product design information, customer data and other information on your hard drive? Or maybe you are carting around a fistful of USB jump drives loaded with all of your business’s data. In either case, it would take just one home invasion, flooded office or overheated car to destroy all of your hard work. Having a solid backup system for your data is an important part of protecting your investment in your business.

A first class data back up system is one that involves backing up your data off site from your office, not backing it up on a removable hard drive. Remember, a removable hard drive is susceptible to the same weaknesses as your home computer or a flash drive. An off site data back up system is a service that you will pay for each month, so think of it as insurance against losing critical information and reassurance that in the event of an emergency, you will be able to get your company back up, running and making money as soon as you plug your computer back in.

Today, there are a number of cloud based technologies that allow you to save your data files in real time to remote servers. Before sending off confidential data, though, make sure that you understand the terms and conditions that you and the company are subject to, so that you can be confident that your secure data will stay that way in the future.

Grow Your Home Based Company’s Online Footprint

Having a website is no longer an option for today’s entrepreneurs. Whether your business has a brick-and-mortar location or is run strictly remotely from your home, to maximize your business’s growth potential, you will need to create your own website. The good news is that you do not have to know any HTML coding in order to have a website that will attract customers. There are many companies which will create a website either from scratch or from a customizable template for your home based business. Get the most benefit from your investment by making certain that your new website has the following features and qualities:

  • Easy to use contact form so your website’s visitors can ask about your products and services. Your contact form should have fields for your website’s visitors to fill in their name, e-mail address and, of course, their question or comment.
  • A blog or video blog that you regularly update with niche industry information as well as updates on your company’s products or new service offerings. Look for a website design that includes easy to use sharing buttons for your blog readers so they can forward great posts to their friends and family members.
  • An e-commerce system to allow you sell your products 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to customers regardless of where they live. Popular online payment systems offer great interface options to give customers confidence when making purchases from your business’s website.

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